Tuesday, April 25, 2017

TOPPED OFF RV TIRES WITH NITROGEN

Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 55 Windy with Spotty Showers High 61) 

Everybody knows how much we like mobile service so we were intrigued when Jo saw this setup driving around the KOA in Albuquerque so Bob flagged him down.


Rich Gentry from Nitrogen2Go.com (pictured) says he may be the only mobile nitrogen service in the United States. Bob talked to him and had him top off the tires on our Lifestyle which came with nitrogen. Since nitrogen isn't always available Bob got an UltimateAir tank and filled it with nitrogen.


There are many benefits of nitrogen filled tires. Nitrogen reduces the loss of tire pressure due to leakage through the rubber of the tires by about 1/3 means less times you have to fill up the tires. Nitrogen is a dry gas air so there will be less corrosion of the tire's steel components like the sidewall reinforcements and belts. There also will be more consistent pressure as the tires heat up during towing.

Now for the rest of the story. Nitrogen is still a gas and is affected by changes in temperature, about 1 psi for for 10 degrees F. Nitrogen isn't always readily available, although it is getting better. Getnitrogen.org is a website where you can check. The list includes surprisingly Costco Tire Centers and mostly car/truck dealerships. The website does list if the place is truck friendly. Getting the RV in tow to some of these places, plus the lack of availability is why we bought the UltimateAir tank and had it filled with nitrogen. If necessary you can always add regular compressed air to you nitrogen filled tires because proper pressure is more important than the purity of the nitrogen.

Truth be told if the tires did not come with nitrogen we doubt we would have converted to nitrogen. Now that we have it we have decided to keep the nitrogen filled if possible.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, April 23, 2017

THE POWER OF THE INTERNET FOR GOOD

Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 44 Sunny, Breezy this Afternoon High 76) 

It certainly was breezy yesterday evening. Barb from Gypsy and the Navigator warned us about the wind here in Albuquerque. When we got home from visiting friends last night the wind was gusting pretty strong so we decided to stow our Winegard satellite dish on the roof.



As it was stowing a big gust hit us and the Winegard lost it's mind. We got a flashing "EL Motor Home Failure" on the control box. Since it was almost midnight we decided to check it out this morning. After using the internet for good Bob got the steps to fix the problem from http://www.justanswer.com/rv-motorhome/.

Bob got on the roof and confirmed that all the connections were still good and that the antenna was in the "EL Hard Stop" position, or pointing straight up. Robert, an RV Mechanic on justanswer.com, responded to an earlier similar question and stated that the antenna needed to be calibrated and provided the steps. Bob went through the steps and got a calibration success. The antenna was then stowed and then powered on and found all the satellites so we are back in business.

There may be a lot of bad things on the internet but if you are choosy you can find the power of the internet for good.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, April 21, 2017

UPDATE ON UNDERBELLY REPAIR, PART 2

Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 48 Sunny Breezy and Pleasant High 73) 

The mobile service tech came by earlier this week to measure and figure out what parts he might need. Here is what he saw.


A closeup of the straps that were never installed under the holding tanks.


We will be on the schedule next week sometime so we are extended our stay in Albuquerque a week. Oh well, more time to eat at some of our favorite restaurants. We'll keep you posted.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

CATCHING UP - REVIEW OF STAGECOACH STOP RV PARK IN RIO RANCHO NEW MEXICO

Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 48 Partly Sunny and Very Warm High 82) 

Really catching up on an old blog entry. Digging around our blog we found this entry which we thought we had already published. In fact we double checked to make sure it wasn't already there. This covers our October 2016 stay at Stagecoach Stop RV Park in Rio Rancho New Mexico after our stay at the Presidents Campground at the International Balloon Fiesta.

Since we have stayed there before we didn't take pictures of the park. After we left we realized that those visits were in the Cameo and not the Lifestyle.


Getting to the park is more of a challenge now than it was earlier. They have widened the road and put in a median. Unfortunately our GPS devices have not been updated which we followed until we were in front of a detention center. Bob started backing up when an officer came out of the building to give us directions. Told us it happens all the time. Once we knew the secret handshake to get to the park we were fine, especially every trip after that we didn't have a 40' fifth wheel in tow :-)

Once we got to the park which had asphalt roads and sites. There was rock between the sites. The pad was long enough for the Lifestyle with the truck parked next to it on an asphalt parking space. Hookups were convenient. Since the park has not changed from the last visit here are a couple of photos left and right of the site with the Sandia Mountains in the distance.



Although there are trees we were able to get a good line of sight for our roof mounted automatic satellite dish. We will get photos of the Lifestyle during our next visit. Like the Balloon Fiesta Presidents Campground and the KOA in Albuquerque where we are now Stagecoach Stop has location, location, location. This campground is real close to The Range Cafe, one of our favorite places to eat. Plus there is a Walmart close by and a new shopping area across the highway. We will definitely stay here again although the nearby Sadie's Restaurant has since closed.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

UPDATE ON RV UNDERBELLY REPAIRS

Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 42 Sun With Some Clouds High 78) 

We don't know how some companies stay in business with the poor customer service that they have. It has been an interesting 3 days trying to find the 2-piece pan beneath the holding tanks on the underbelly of our Lifestyle RV. Multiple phone calls with multiple voicemails left resulted in 1, and I mean only ONE callback. Kudos to Cindy at a Florida La Mesa dealership for that callback. Doesn't anybody answer their phones anymore?

When I was able to talk to a live person I got mostly negatives on the pan, but some gave me some other places to check. It all came together when I talked with Crystal in Parts at Tiara RV in Elkhart Indiana which is a superstar in old Carriages and Lifestyles. When Carriage and Lifestyle went out of business they bought what inventory they could and still have some on hand now. Unfortunately they did not have the 2-piece pan that we needed.

Here is what we have been able to piece together. We think that the pan was made by Ameri-Kart which made the holding tanks. Ameri-Kart is so busy with the RV manufacturers business that they don't have time for the one time purchases and has a minimum order of 10 for any part. That is why Tiara RV is having trouble working with Ameri-Kart. Crystal from Tiara RV did say that some owners have had a custom plastic pan made and on one of the Carriage/Lifestyle forums the suggestion was made to make it out of sheet aluminum.

Turns out Carriage and Lifestyle were one of few, if not the only one, that used a hard body 2-piece pan. One of the suggestions on the Carriage/Lifestyle forums was to use a corrugated plastic trade name Coroplast. Here it is in roll form.



A view form the side showing the 1/8" thickness and the corrugation.



This material is readily available in the Albuquerque, and a lot cheaper than a custom ordered pan. In fact it is used as the underbelly on most of the RVs being built. The mobile tech will be out next week to look over the job including the straps for the holding tanks that were never installed from the beginning.

We'll keep you posted.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

CATCHING UP - REVIEW OF MIDLAND RV PARK IN MIDLAND TEXAS

Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 46 Sunshine and Pleasant High 74) 

With the short stay and the sightseeing we had to forego our review of the Midland RV Park until now. The main draw for us for this RV Park was the fact that it was on city water. Other parks are on well water and the water is not so good. But according to our water tester the water here is above the threshold for tap water. A quick trip to get gallons of drinking water took care of that issue.

Our GPS devices disagreed a lot on this trip but we ended up where we needed to be. Although the lady at the front desk at checkin was real nice the guy who guided us to our site was a little gruff. We did pull into a secondary entrance which didn't help our cause. The interior roads and sites are gravel. The hookups are convenient. We ended up in a pullthru and we had a great line of sight for our roof mounted satellite dish.

Here is our Lifestyle from the front.


To the right.


To the left.


From the rear.


We would probably stay here again as we feel like there is more to see and places to eat here in the Midland/Odessa area. We will try to make sure to go in the right entrance though 😏

We are still waiting on information on the underbelly pan so we will keep you posted.

Till next time, 

Bob and Jo.

Monday, April 10, 2017

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO ALBUQUERQUE NEW MEXICO

Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 41 Plenty of Sunshine High 67) 

Subtitle 1: Our travel day from hell
Subtitle 2: Evergreen; what were you thinking?
Subtitle 3: Gorilla Tape

We left Roswell New Mexico yesterday and headed towards Albuquerque New Mexico. 

Our travel day from hell - The first thing of note is that for the majority of the trip we had a pretty strong headwind. Occasionally we had a sidewind (more on that later). Our 1 ton dually performed admirably and we never once thought about ending our trip due to wind. At our first rest stop Bob checked his tape job on the underbelly and it was holding. Funny thing is that as we were walking to the bathrooms the wind was in our face, on the return walk it was at our side. By now we are a little worried about fuel consumption.

Our second stop was for diesel because by now we knew we would not make it to Albuquerque. Bob checked the underbelly again and it was horrible. The bigger piece of the 2 piece pan was dragging on the ground. The side wind that Bob thought might aid our mileage had devastated the underbelly. Luckily there was a very big lot next to the pumps and Bob crawled under the RV once again, this time disconnecting the pan which we put in the trash along with the insulation.

Evergreen; what were you thinking? Evergreen was the manufacturer of our Lifestyle RV. With the pan removed it became very apparent that 2 straps meant to hold the black and grey tanks were not screwed down. There was a pile of the screws right where the two straps would have been screwed to the frame. At first Bob thought they had broken off but upon further review found that the straps were too short and were never screwed in. Instead of getting longer straps they just put the screws that they should have used on top of the insulation and then lifted the pan and secured it. Evergreen: what were you thinking?

Gorilla Tape - There was some taping still to be done, the smaller piece of the 2 piece was basically still intact and the straps needed to be taped above the road or would bounce off of the payment causing problems. All the taping was completed and we hit the road again and finally made it to Albuquerque. For a while during the day yesterday we weren't where we would end up.

We are staying again at the Albuquerque KOA Journey.


It was approximately 200 miles, this is the route we took.



Bob spent the morning calling a mobile RV service and trying to find the pan. Since Evergreen is out of business finding parts is an adventure. In addition to getting the underbelly fixed while here we plan on meeting some friends and eating out, well mostly eating out 😏

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, April 9, 2017

REVIEW OF BOTTOMLESS LAKES STATE PARK CAMPGROUND NEAR ROSWELL NEW MEXICO

Currently in Roswell NM (Low 53 Breezy with Sunshine Currently 62)
Heading to Albuquerque NM (Currently 54 Partly Sunny and Breezy High 68) 

Bottomless Lakes State Park is about 12 miles from Roswell. Getting here is GPS challenged as we mentioned before. Here is a view of Lea Lake and the campground on the best route to the campground.



A closeup view of the campground.




The campground has 6 full hookup sites, some tent sites, and a number of water and electric sites, all with 30amps. The interior roads and sites are gravel. The hookups are convenient. There are some trees but we had a good line of site for our roof mounted satellite dish as seen in this shot of the Lifestyle from the front.



To the right.


To the left.


The park has some of the longest pullthrus we have ever seen. Here is a view from the rear of our Lifestyle at the other end of the pullthru.


Up close from the rear showing our Lifestyle near the patio.


We would stay here again because it is so scenic and we have more to see in Roswell.

We depart today for Albuquerque where we plan to stay a couple of weeks.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, April 8, 2017

TOURED INTERNATIONAL UFO MUSEUM IN ROSWELL NEW MEXICO

Currently in Roswell NM (Low 48 Mostly Sunny High 92) 

Yesterday we toured the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell New Mexico. We got this photo from the web.


This museum is one that requires a lot of reading and there are a lot of displays.


You are greeted by a re-creation of the alleged 1947 crash site near Roswell.


Then it's a lot of reading. There were some photo opportunities, here is Bob about to be abducted.


A scene recreated from the movie, "Roswell", the alien autopsy.


Bob telling Gort "Klaatu Barada Nikto".

 
Additionally the streetlights look like alien heads but we never got a good shot of them. We did get a good shot of the flying saucer McDonalds.


It was really neat to see all of the unexplained sightings in one place, if not overwhelming. Bob is like Agent Mulder of "X-Files" who wants to believe. Something happened near Roswell in 1947 and although Bob cannot say for certain it was an alien spacecraft crash, but whatever it was there probably was a coverup and a lot of misinformation as it was originally reported a flying saucer crash. There are a lot of planets in the universe, if only a small percentage supported life, there are a lot of planets that could be ahead of us technology wise. They might be interested in seeing what is going on here. Bob feels there we might have been visited but wishes there was undeniable proof. 

Until then,

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, April 7, 2017

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO ROSWELL NEW MEXICO

Currently in Roswell NM (Low 46 Mostly Sunny and Very Warm High 88) 

Subtitled: Thank Goodness for Gorilla Tape

After a great stay in Midland Texas we departed yesterday for Roswell New Mexico. We are camping at Bottomless Lakes State Park.


It was approximately 200 miles, this is the route we took. We crossed into Mountain Time during the trip.



Thank goodness for Gorilla Tape. At one of our leg stretching breaks Jo noticed something hanging from the underbelly. The two piece hard shelled underbelly in the holding tanks area had come apart and there was insulation showing. Bob crawled underneath to tape it with Gorilla Tape as a temporary fix. He plans to research it further when we get to Albuquerque.


Bottomless Lakes State Park is in the middle of nowhere but we have fairly good Verizon 4g and phone signals. Here is the view from our rear window.


Neat reflection of Lea Lake.


Our first sunset.


While here we plan to visit the International UFO Museum and Research Center. There is no disputing that something happened near Roswell in 1947. What actually happened has been debated since then. We plan to dig into it and report back our findings.

We want to believe!

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, April 6, 2017

PRESIDENTIAL ARCHIVES AND LEADERSHIP LIBRARY IN ODESSA TEXAS

Currently in Midland TX (Low 46 Mostly Sunny Currently 49)
Heading to Roswell NM (Currently 40 Sunshine: Pleasant and Warmer High 78) 

After JFK was assassinated in 1963 there was the idea to create a memorial for him. The response was amazing and overwhelmed the reading room in the library that was its planned location. The material also included other presidential material so it was suggested to honor all of the Presidents and thus the Presidential Archives and Leadership Library was founded and eventually moved into the entire library when a new library was built. 


The lobby includes a rug that is a copy of the rug during the Truman administration. They had to get special permission from the White House for the rug weavers.


The guest book that you sign is on a desk used by then-General Dwight David Eisenhower in Paris.


There are displays throughout, the highlights include an 1840 copy of the Declaration of Independence printed in 1840 that was passed down from family member to family member but almost ending in a burn pile until it was donated. Another highlight is a pin from the George Washington inauguration. Sadly with the lighting our pictures did not turn out.


A collection of dolls throughout wearing replicas of the First Lady gowns


Portraits, for all the Presidents and First Ladies. Here are Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.


You know you are in the south when you see the 10 Commandments on display in the lobby.



If we think that today's politicians are horrible, well they are, but they are not unique in time.


The library portion of the museum contains over 5000 books, some rare first editions are included.


Outside of the museum sits the first home that the Bush family lived in Odessa Texas from 1948-1949. 


The day before we saw and blogged about the second home for the Bush family in nearby Midland. There were a couple of anecdotes about the Midland house that we forgot to mention in the blog. First, since Jeb was born in Midland that house was home to 2 future governors and 2 future presidents. Also, George W. and Donald Trump are the only Presidents that played Little League baseball.

As we were leaving the museum we saw the Bush home and we could have gone back into the museum and found somebody to open it up but decided it would have been too much of a hassle since the only staff we saw during our tour was a guy when we came in and a custodian cleaning the bathrooms when Bob wanted to use them :-)

We really enjoyed our stay here in the Midland-Odessa area. Great sightseeing, food and weather. We leave today for Roswell New Mexico and if we are not abducted by a UFO we will be there for a short stay and then head to Albuquerque.

We'll end with this cross stitched map of the original colonies/states for Bob's sister.


Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

GEORGE W. BUSH CHILDHOOD HOME IN MIDLAND TEXAS

Currently in Midland TX (Low 37 Plenty of Sun High 68) 

From 1951 to 1955 George W. Bush and his family lived in this house in Midland Texas. We borrowed this picture from the website, all the other photos are ours because you are allowed to take pictures which is nice.


This was only the second house that George H. W. and Barbara owned and it was the larger of the two. The house was filled with both happiness and sadness as their sons Jeb and Neil were born here but Robin their daughter died of leukemia while they lived here. About his time in Midland George W. said it best, "Our deepest values in life often come from our earliest years...It is here where I learned what it means to be a good neighbor at backyard barbecues or just chatting across the fence. It is here in West Texas where I learned to trust in God." He got some of his earliest lessons from the Roy Rogers Riders Club watching Saturday morning television in what they called the den, the one television in the house.


He would copy as many of the 10 rules as he could during each episode until he had them all. He and his friends then carried these rules with them reminding them how to be good citizens. He joined the Roy Rogers Riders Club and you can see the rules above his bed and the Riders Club shirt on the bed. Interestingly one of George W's boyhood friends assisted in the renovation and read the rules at the dedication ceremony. Here is George W's bedroom.



A closeup of the rules.



Shelves in his bedroom.



They had quite the time restoring this house back to how it was when the Bush family lived there. There were 7 different owners and it seemed like everybody either had to paint and wallpaper over the beautiful wood in George W's bedroom and elsewhere in the house. They painstakingly removed all the paint and wallpaper to reveal the wood you see today.

Other photos from the house - the kitchen.




The phone stand, one phone and a party line to boot.



An original fixture.



One thing there are trying to find or replicate is the washer and dryer like they had in the kitchen. What they have found is the salt and pepper shakers given when the units were bought.


With one television and one channel they had a lot of time for reading. Here is a rolling, spinning bookcase and a bookcase in the hall.




We found this pretty neat, a photo that Barbara took of George W. on his bike in the street.


The interesting thing is that time seemingly has not passed on this street. Notice the gas hookup, the crack in the concrete near the driveway and the garage doors.


We'll end with the 10 Rules of the Roy Rogers Riders Club
1. Be neat and clean
2. Be courteous and polite
3. Always obey your parents
4. Protect the weak and always help them
5. Be brave but never take chances
6. Study hard and learn all you can
7. Be kind to animals and care for them
8. Eat all your food and never waste any
9. Love God and go to Sunday school regularly
10. Always respect our flag and our country

Wish more people lived by these rules today.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo